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‘This too shall pass’

John (not his real name) never imagined he would be relying on a food bank to feed his family.

John (not his real name) never imagined he would be relying on a food bank to feed his family.

A successful business consultant, he provided his wife and four children a life of comfort.

But when he was laid off from his job in the summer of 2008, his family was faced with hardships they never imagined.

It wasn’t a life of extravagance, but John was able to send his four children to private school, and his family had two cars. But as the months wore on and no sign of any work came, the financial strain worsened.

“At first, it’s the minor things,” he says. “You lose the freedom of being able to have the occasional slice of pizza, or being able to grab a coffee on the road. But over time, it gets bigger.”

He calls having their second car repossessed “a big slap in the face.”

Soon, the family stopped shopping at Sobeys and headed to No Frills. They now belong to a food bank.

John and his family are part of an increasing number of GTA families relying on food banks because of the recession. In fact, the majority of new clients at The Daily Bread Food Bank are those who have lost their jobs or had their hours cut at work. Thirty five per cent of clients in the past six months have lost their jobs. So far this year, more than a million people have accessed Daily Bread.

“I remember when I grew up, I never had to worry about food on the table,” says John. “And I pray my kids will have that same confidence in me, but I don’t know.”

In order to send his kids to camp this summer, John offered to do janitorial work at the camp in lieu of payment. While working at the camp in May, he found out the power to his home had been turned off.

As painful an experience as the past year has been, John remains optimistic. “This too shall pass, as it says in the Good Book.”

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